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tv   Martin Bashir  MSNBC  February 15, 2012 3:00pm-4:00pm EST

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elite snobs. >> snobs? don't you see how they see you? ♪ you're too shy to stay ♪ we both know what's been going on ♪ >> you wan a culture war, you got one. and it comes in the form of latest challenger to mitt romney in what could prove to be the fight of this contest. in the latest seismic shift, three out of four national polls show rick santorum leading mitt romney. in the heartland, the key battleground state of ohio, santorum up by 7 points. yes, that rick santorum, the guy in the sweater vest. he is the front-runner with just 20 days to guess before super tuesday. but before that, mitt romney's got serious issues in the next major contest in michigan. indeed, the state where romney was born, the state where his father was governor, the state where he launched his candidacy in 2008 is very much up for
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grabs. and while his rally there tonight is called a welcome home event, romney's new ad in michigan appears to show him driving around in circles looking for the family estate. good luck, mitt. i don't think you'll find it in any of those neighborhoods. meanwhile, the michigan mudslinging has begun in earnest with rick santorum's new ad attacking mitt for attacking him. >> mitt romney's negative attack machine is back on full throttle. this time romney's firing his mud at risk santorum. mitt romney's ugly attacks are going to backfire. >> that last bit may be right with a new poll showing mitt romney's likability falling. just over half of republicans, 54%, now say they hold a favorable opinion of romney. while 67% said the same in january. among all americans, just 34% describe the candidate as likable. down from 41% last month.
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and perhaps bearing that in mind, rick santorum is out on the campaign trail doing his level best to embody the role of front-runner taking his attacks to president obama. >> when the family has broken down and there is no marriage, when the church has abandoned ship, that is the future of barack obama's america. >> don't you see how they see you? how they look down their nose at the average americans? these elite snobs. >> which is it, rick? is the president a thug in a dark alleyway or an east coast harvard snob with a law degree? you've got to make up your mind. that's the tricky part. indeed, it's proving very tricky for republican voters. "the new york times" new poll showing more than six in ten wish there were more candidates to choose from. about the same number who say
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they could still change their minds. in the same poll, president obama's approval rating has hit the all-important 50% mark, a key baseline in presidential politics and his highest approval rating since may 2010. never mind is the polls. as one of our favorite political experts reminds us this morning. >> i don't put a lot of stock in polls. i've said before, you know, polls are good for cross country skiers and for strippers. >> i'm not going to touch that. let's get right to our panel. with us from washington, political analyst karen finney, former dnc communications director and a columnist for the hill and julian epstein, democratic strategist. good afternoon to you. they call the presidentdy advice i be, but rick santorum is basically carving up american society, calling people snobs and elites. why is he doing this? >> well, he clearly thinks that this is a winning strategy. he thinks if he can make it out that obama is the one who
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doesn't understand and he's the real blue collar guy who understands, then that's going to -- already remember when he talks about snobs, he's also talking about mitt romney. here's the thing i think he'll have the biggest problem with. this contraception fight we've been having is not just the basics of is contraception going to be made available. rick vum has said he doesn't think women should take contraception. it's a lack of understanding of the american people and how we live our lives and the fact that to most americans, it's a pretty basic preventive health care. he's targeting a very small conservative part of the base to try to get those folks away from any thought they might have had of voting for mitt romney >> indeed. julian, you filthy disgusting snob, showering romney in mud, has rick santorum basically fired a preemptive strike knowing that's what's coming to him are mitt romney's millions in the form of negative advertising? >> yeah, it's true.
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and in the meantime, all of the brand of the republican party is sinking while that of obama continues to climb. if -- it seems that jeremy lin is the only person having a better year than barack obama right now. you know, the idea, however, that rick santorum would call obama out of the mainstream, that's like donald trump accusing somebody of having an oversized ego. the fact of the matter here is that the republican voters are, according to all the polls are running away from romney relatively quickly for religious conservatives, these have to be the most promiscuous voters i think we have ever seen. they keep having all of these fairs with folks who are just unelectable. to karen's last point, we could give you a dozen reasons on this show why rick santorum could not be elected, his comments about women and contraception, his comments been man on dog, on down the line. this is not an electable guy. and i think at the end of the
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day here at some point if romney continues, if voters keep running away from him the way his dog ran away from him after he tied him to the top of a car, fur that keeps happening, i think republicans have got to find a plan b here because none of the ones other than romney, nobody on the field right now is remotely electable. >> julian, that was far tore snobbish. >> karen, a fired up president obama spoke in milwaukee last hour and he took a jab at mitt romney. take a listen to this, karen. >> when i took office, the american auto industry was on the verge of collapse. and there were some folks who said we should let it guy. -- let it die. with a million jobs at stake, i refused to let that happen. >> karen, romney can't escape that editorial he wrote. let detroit go bankrupt. that's what he said, didn't he? >> oh, he sure did. >> and guess what happens when michigan voters start thinking
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about that. >> well, that's exactly right, martin. mitt romney even on something worth literally, there is footage of him saying these words about -- is now trying to say, well, i didn't really say let it go down. what i meant -- he should just you know, admit that he said it and move on. but here's why michigan is so important. you mentioned this in the intro. this is for mitt romney, if he doesn't do well there, he really loses all credibility as a potential candidate. i mean, his father was a very popular governor. there are a lot of people who would probably vote for him just because of the favorable feelings about his father. you know, this is his home state. if he can't win his home state, how is he going to make an argument to any kind of donor, any kind of voter or supporter that he's going to be able to take on barack obama, particularly again, if you can't win michigan, that makes the map in the general election a lot harder. >> indeed. in his ad, he looks as though he needs a map.
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he's driving around the place. julian, rick santorum is just getting his learn's permit as the front-runner but he's driving hard himself at the president. listen to this. >> policy covers toothpaste. deodorant. that might be a good idea, right? everybody cover deodorant. right in the soap. where do you stop. >> he seems to be implying that deodorant is the same thing as birth control. equally trivial? i don't understand. >> the funny thing is he keeps putting these words in.obama's mouth. he's never said anything remotely absurd. the absurd things come from santorum's mouth when we you look at his comments on women and could tntraception. the republicans we foe they don't believe in evolutionary science or clearly to your question, they don't believe in economic science. it's a matter of fact that the auto bailout will probably end
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up making if taxpayers money as did the t.a.r.p. i think the jury is in the stimulus program was a success. so they don't believe in evolutionary science or political science the way they're running this campaign and certainly you can tell from the utterances they make about the economy, they don't believe much in economic science. >> just, karen, to round up this point of the discussion, one's assuming that mitt romney's attack is going to highlight rick santorum's conduct, career as a lobbyist in a very big way in the days ahead. correct? >> oh, yes. yes, indeed. i have brushed off my only research, my friend. so far, let's be clear, rick santorum has actually gotten very much of a pass for the most part. there is a plethora of information not only about, again, you've heard me say this when he was in office, when newt gingrich, by the way, was on the other side of the building, and he was the senate point person
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for the k street project. that allowed him when he got kicked out of office or voted out of office pretty handily to go off lobby, and make a ton of cash. he's not this i'm the archie kind of wearing my vest from pennsylvania guy that he's been making himself out to be. i suspect that will be largely what the romney campaign will reveal for voters. >> karen finney, you've revealed it first and julian epstein, thanks as ever to both of you. next, boehner and the boys wave a white flag, a sign of things to come in 2012? stay with us. >> when the family has broken down, and there is no marriage, when the church has abandoned ship, you find people holed up in their homes afraid to go outside at night. sweet, nutty crunchy nut. [ sighs ] i can't wait till morning. wait! it's morning in china! ♪ [ male announcer ] it's sweet, it's nutty...
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if there's one thing house republicans made clear, they would not back down everyone demanding spending cuts to pay for any extension of the payroll tax cut. >> it's pretty clear that senate democrats have never come to the table with a plantom o to offses new spending that they're all for. we want to extend this plan but this spending ought to be offset. >> if there's another thing house republicans made clear today, it's they'll do what they need to to keep their majority. anybody doesn't doubt this is faith by the speaker, all you have to do is ask. >> what does this about face say? >> we are not going to allow the democrats to play political games and raise taxes on working americans. we made a decision to bring them to the table so that the games
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would stop and we would get this work done. >> and hmm. joining us democratic congresswoman debbie wasserman-schultz of florida. good afternoon, debbie. >> good afternoon. great to be with you again. >> thank you for coming on. this time last week, republicans were in a screaming pursuit of the president claiming that offering contraception was running roughshod over the consciences and religious convictions of americans. and now, ever so quietly, they've agreed to extend the payroll tax cut. what happened? >> well, i think reality kind of hit them squarely in the face. i think speaker boehner's comments about and description of the payroll tax cut extension is telling about how they truly feel. they think that the payroll tax cut extension is not a necessity for the middle class or working families. they think this whole thing is a game. it's not game. president obama and congressional democrats have been fighting so hard to extends the payroll tax cut so we don't
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have to pull $1,000 out of the average middle class family's paycheck. >> and yet, speaker boehner claims today that he dragged democrats to the table to resolve the issue. >> well, i don't know how nel proper reading of how we reached this compromise could attribute that compromise to anyone other than president obama and congressional democrats who held republicans' feet to the fire so we could make sure that middle class and working families continue to make sure that they have their fair share and that they have an opportunity to be successful. because millionaires and billionaires are doing just fine. their tax structure protects them. that's who republicans are fighting for. it's another example of the really stark contrast between the two directions that this country could go after the november elections. >> at his press conference, and i'm sorry to belabor this but speaker boehner was asked three times on the issue about whether
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he was happy with the compromise. three times he refused to answer the question. we know he's likely to go down as one of the least illustrious speakers in modern history, but do you think the reason he couldn't answer that question is because he's now worried about his own caucus? >> well, this is a speaker who famously said on "60 minutes" that he couldn't even stomach the word compromise, that he hates compromise. it's not surprising that he couldn't answer the question or wouldn't answer it because he looks at meeting the other side halfway as of somehow being a bad thing to do. that's the problem is that the republicans are so strangled by extremists and the tea party that they look at common ground as the enemy. and it's just shocking. i mean, the my way or the highway politics that they have generally engaged in has really been an obstacle in the path of continued aggressive progress in our economy. and we're going to continue to
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fight hard to move the economy forward and create jobs. the 239 straight months that we've had private sector job growth under president obama's policies, 3.7, almost 4 million jobs created in the private sector. we're going to continue pushing forward to help make those things happen. with or without the republicans' help. >> we've all come to expect big arguments, big fights in the lead up to major elections. we've had contraception and now there looks to be one over expanding oil drilling in places like the arctic wildlife refuge. i don't want to sound vulgar, but they seem obsessed with drilling but bankrupt of a single idea that would promote job creation. >> they really are so short sighted. i mean, at the end of the day, we have more drilling for oil domestically than we've ever had before because president obama has made sure that leases are available for drilling. but also made sure that we look forward and recognize that oil,
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coal, even natural gas are fine night resources that are eventually going to run out. we can stick our heads in the sand and say well, they won't run out while we're still alive but we have to think about our children's future and how we can use wind and solar and hydroelectric power and make sure we can have renewable sources of energy plentiful and affordable and not leave us strangled by our dependence on foreign oil or dependence on oil, period. that's another really stark difference. >> indeed. debbie wasserman-schultz, thanks for joining us this afternoon. >> thanks so much, martin. >> stay with us. much more ahead. >> my campaign hasn't run any negative ads against rick santorum. his campaign ran attack ads against me. >> it's not a lie if you believe it. i'm a marathon runner,
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there's disturbing news out of the middle east today with iran announcing it has used domestically made nuclear fuel in a reactor for the first time and unveiled more efficient centrifuges. although tehran rejects responsibility for the attacks in india, georgia and thailand, this is proving to be a worrying week in the middle east. we're joined by stephanie gosk live in israel. stephanie, you're there in tel aviv. how did the people of israel react to the news out of iran today? i have to think the news brings a sense of increased anxiety. >> reporter: it does.
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and there has been a climate of unrest for a while now. iran has been pursuing nuclear technology and specifically a nuclear weapon for some time. so the developments that were announced today probably won't change people's opinions or make them even more concerned about that, but in light of what happened earlier this week, the attacks in three separate countries that israeli officials are blaming tehran for, you do have this growing anxiety and growing tension here. there's an increased heightened state of alert in this country as well as at israeli embassies around the world and i an concern, martin, that more vulnerable targets could be attacked, places like synagogues and jewish centers around the world. >> indeed. the white house today said that it believes iran is lashing out as it were to distract attention from the effects of sanctions and their effect, indeed, on the people of iran. but this is more than just lashing out, isn't it?
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this is truly a dangerous situation we have. >> that does seem to be sort of a child-like description of what iran is doing. one other interpretation could be that iran is flying in the face of the international community and coming at a time with increased pressure and sanctions and announcing nuclear developments. as you say, although they deny these attacks earlier in the week, israeli officials are convinced that this is al orchestrated series of attacks from the government itself. and kind of blatant in your face reaction to the pressure that has been put on it in recent weeks. >> nbc's stephanie gosk live in tel aviv. thanks so much for joining us, steph. stay with us. the day's top lines are next. >> don't you see how they see you? how they look down their knows at the avera
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today is gonna be an timportant day for us.n. you ready? we wanna be our brother's keeper. what's number two we wanna do? bring it up to 90 decatherms. how bout ya, joe? let's go ahead and bring it online. attention on site, attention on site. now starting unit nine. some of the world's cleanest gas turbines
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are now powering some of america's biggest cities. siemens. answers. fmpl rick perry was the tim tebow candidate, then who will be the jeremy lin candidate? here are today's top lines. best in show. >> best in show at the 19s 36th annual westminster kennel club, the pekingese. >> this is sort of part of my valentine's day. i get to come hang out with elephants for a little while. >> mitt romney celebrates valentine's day by spending a romantic evening in front of the mirror. >> michigan's been my home and this is personal. >> rick santorum, big spender, washington insider. >> mitt romney's negative attack machine is back. on full throttle. this time romney's firing his mud at risk santorum. >> murdoch.
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>> i'm coming to get you. >> i just think that rick completely understands the nature of -- misunderstands modern warfare. >> jeremy lynn from downtown. >> i hope i am the tim tebow of -- >> this has been like riding space mountain at disney. >> he worked as a lobbyist and worked in congress and went back to being a lobbyist. >> deodorant, that might be a good idea. >> is it a two-pan race, you and rick santorum? >> it's been a two-man race many times. >> don't you see how they see you. newt gingrich came roaring back in, ron paul cut him out. so time will tell. >> these elite snobs. >> let's get right to our panel of elite snobs. joining us in minneapolis anna marie cox, a correspondent from
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the guardian and ken vogel. >> anna inry who is still in this race, newt gingrich's says santorum's quotes about women in the military completely misunderstands the nature of modern warfare. i hate to say it, but doesn't gingrich have a point? >> i think rick santorum understands the nature of a lot of modern things, including gender releases and families. but younknow i think yes. newt gingrich is clever, let's say that. he does have a command of facts even if he doesn't choose to use them. santorum does seem to be off base on this. he doesn't seem to understand the way that modern warfare is fought or the roles different people play in it. this is another example of weirdly how social issues have come to the front in this race if that's what they're attacking each other about.
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that is basically good for rick santorum in his appear, by the way. >> every time a non-romney candidate takes the lead, his past comes back to bite him. do you think that pattern will hold for santorum, particularly his magnificently well paid career as a lobbyist? >> well, certainly you would think that that would be something that mitt romney would focus on. he did in fact better himself. he nearly quadrupled his net worth between the time he left congress and filed his personal financial disclosure statement last year when he entered the race. he did, in fact, work for lobbying firms those he strews he did not actually lobby for them. that said, you would think that would count against him and that mitt romney would be able to use that to paint him as a washington insider. but the folks looking for a candidate other than mitt romney appearal to overlook a lot of things that would you know, count against typically count against a candidate trying to position themselves as an outsider in an anti-incumbent year. i think that this, rick
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santorum's work in the influence industry broadly is one of those things that people just seem willing to overlook because he's not mitt romney and they're willing to forgive a lot for someone who is not mitt romney. >> indeed. anna marie, romney has been on the ropes many a time and many times escaped because the new nonromney has basically imploded and provoked their own descent. why does this time feel different? the national and state polls are slowing santorum ahead of romney. there is something going on here. pure research, 30 to santorum 28 to romney. >> yeah, i think there is something going on. i mean, there is an element here of just being the last man standing, this is sort of the musical chairs of the primaries and there's one chair getting remove each time the music stops. and it might just be that rick santorum is the person that winds up with that second chair next to mitt romney, which he bought and paid for, by the way. but you know, i think that there's a couple things going
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on. number one, and i think we can't underestimate this, rick santorum has two qualities that none of the other candidates have which is humility and genuineness. there's a lot negative to say about rick santorum. a lot of critical things to say about him. i've said them. but i will say that he comes by his beliefs very genuinely and that is something that really you just you see in him and you feel from him when he talks. that's something that newt gingrich doesn't have and mitt romney doesn't have. i think that's what's resonating with the voters. he's had a slow steady build. he hasn't had a sharp peak, although just now he has. you could argue people are just now getting to know him and as they get to know him, they like him. this is something that hasn't been the case with the other people that have come up with the polls. >> ken, to anna marie's point about the fact that santorum seems authentic whereas wherever mitt romney appears, he always looks like mr. plastic
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fantastic. he's always fabricated in some way, isn't he? >> that's certainly been a knock on lim. again -- >> it's not just a knock on him, ken. watch him. >> sure, there have been other politicians who have also had trouble appearing something other than wooden in public context and certainly nrnl nondescripted contexts like on the rope line or when he's asked questions and availability and has shown an inability to get through these unscripted situations without fumbling them and having verbal gaffes held against him. santorum on the other hand has said a number of things including this thing about women in combat, his comments about blah people where he said he wasn't referring to black people. yet he still manages to persevere and people don't hold them against him. that is because i think to anna marie's point, people regard him as authentic. so these slip-ups being held against romney are not being held against him in the same way
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because people have the sense he's speaking from the heart even if he's saying things potentially offensive in a general election. >> speaking from the heart but not from the mind. thank you so much. next, republicans respond to the president's budget plans. stay with us. >> the president looks at our fiscal crisis, throws together a plan that he knows is completely deceptive, and then goes on the road to sell it to captive audiences as the high schools and colleges across the country. ♪ sunny, thank you for that smile upon your face ♪ when you have tough pain, do you want fast relief? try bayer advanced aspirin. it's not the bayer aspirin you know. it's different.
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♪ downloaded it in the himalayas ♪ ♪ while meditating like a true playa ♪ ♪ now when he's surfing down in chile'a ♪ ♪ he can see when his score is in danger ♪ ♪ if you're a mobile type on the go ♪ ♪ i suggest you take a tip from my bro ♪ ♪ and download the app that lets you know ♪ ♪ at free-credit-score-dot-com now let's go. ♪ vo: offer applies with enrollment in freecreditscore.com™. in your breakfast cereal, what is? now, in every box of general mills big g cereal, there's more whole grain than any other ingredient. that's why it's listed first. get more whole grain than any other ingredient... just look for the white check. republicans in the house appear to have handed president obama a significant victory by agreeing to extend the payroll tax holiday without demanding draconian cuts to pay for it. but if you think that joy unspeakable has broken out on capitol hill, think again.
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congressman david swik kert is a republican from arizona and serves on the financial services committee. i'm delighted to say he's joining us now. good afternoon, sir. >> thank you. there's often i find not a lot of joy breaking out here in washington. >> let's see if we can have some. do you support speaker boehner and majority leader eric cantor in agreeing to this payroll tax cut extension? >> on the payroll side, absolutely. what we're digging for in our office is what's attached to it. as i've learned in my short time here in washington, the devil's always in the details. now we're trying to dig through that. >> you're happy to move forward without the cost being offset in some way? >> well, the amusing part is if you were to step back to last december with us, much of the republican caucus said okay, we'll agree to the nonpayment into social security which is the payroll tax whody but our concern is doc fix, we wanted a one year here and two years on that doctor issue. >> and you also wanted to reduce the duration of unemployment benefits? >> yes, well, with that, also a
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number of the refors that would also move to job training and other things to actually help that population find future employment in today's world, not in the jobs that existed a couple years. >> okay. i read that you said the president, and i'm quoting you, needs to put new batteries in his calculator because more spending won't lower the debt. is it your view then that we should be cutting entitlement programs in order to deal with the deficit? >> the reality of it is. >> and not spending any more? >>. >> we the reality is we have a critical math problem. our bob boomers have begun retiring. the budget the president just handed to us over the next ten years spends over $47 trillion with at the same time, not dealing with the real driver of the debt, and that actually is the mandatory spending. think about it this way. in 11 years, all spending will
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be in the mandatory category. there will be no more defense, no more discretionary. it is consuming everything we are as a people. >> so would you like to see the president introducing austerity measures similar to the ones that have been introduced elsewhere? >> no, i must tell you, every time i hear that, it feels very much like a political theater, a red herring thrown out. we are going to having to having that honest discussion and the president actually brought this up in the summer during his own speeches. we're going to have to have this honest discussion how we bend the cost curve, particularly on the entitlements. >> i'm sorry. >> it's not austerity. we actually in our budget that we offered last april an showed paths to do that and actually provide maximum choice to individuals. >> so your position is, you would introduce austerity measures. >> no, one more time. you have to redesign the programs. if you want the programs to continue to exist.
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>> yeah, i think, sir. >> it very much becomes the european question. >> here's the problem because you sound as though what you're recommending is consistent with what's been happening around the world. and as you know there have been different approaches to recover from recession. and when republicans talk about cutting back and as you say, bending the spending curve, they're well aware that in ireland, for example, where there are brutal austerity measures, unemployment is at 16%. in the uk, sorry, can i finish can i just finish and then you can respond? because i'm representing the position of many of your colleagues. let's just be clear. in the uk, austerity measures introduced. there was nof economic growth in the last quarter. yesterday, moody's downgraded the credit ratings of six european nations, including italy, spain, and portugal. if the republican position is you want to bend that spending curve, why would you want to do
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that, given the example of europe that is staring you in the face? austerity at this moment is a disaster. >> let me step in here. you're actually making my argument. we can actually start to change some of these program dynamics today where we don't have to do what happened in ireland where you're up against the wall, your bankers, the people you're required to borrow money from are saying change it today. we do the obvious policy requirements today. we can actually bend this over the next 15 years. >> what are they, sir? apart from cutting things? >> this is a math issue. >> how do you cut? >> well, first of 0, there's actually parts -- actually even take a look at things we've seen, pat toomey and others where higher income earns are going to have medicare adjustments. you have to do it all together. if we do it today, we avoid that very austerity you're speaking of tomorrow. >> i still, sir, am struggling to understand where you will be
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able to execute the proposal that you've laid out. >> give you a classic case. how much time did you spend with the budget we produced last april? >> i did what will most journalists did and read it. >> you would have to agree with me that, actually laid out a future path. it still skyrocketed up to $22 trillion in debt. >> right. >> but it bent and actually worked with the dem graphic curve that we all as policymakers are having to deal with. that was an attempt to have an honest conversation and to the credit our -- what -- our u.s. senator from oregon who is a fairly liberal democrat has now been willing to step up and say we need to step into reality and work with paul ryan and do what's necessary to save the republic financially. >> how would you respond to someone like the nobel laureate paul krugman who says we need more, not less government spending to get us out of our unemployment trap and he says the wrong-headed ill-informed
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obsession with debt is standing in the way. >> yeah, i would actually lay in front of him the hundreds of other economists and actually a couple other nobel laureates out there who also talk about we have to deal with the regulatory picture and the visibility future on capital markets which is actually my area of specialization. so it's more than just this is the debate over debt and spending. it actually all layers together if you're going to have economic growth. >> congressman david swik cart from arizona, thank you, sir. >> coming up, president obama and hollywood's heavyweights. but first brian sullivan has the cnbc market wrap. >> stocks may be facing their biggest down day of the year. we are down across the board. caterpillar, united technologies. some of the biggest decline kleiners of the dow. p & g was the only stock on the dow that was higher. the issue, what else, greece. the rhetoric heating up again. more investorses concerned that
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greece may be forced to default on its debt. even apple impacted today, hit 526 a share, now just 500 bucks. that's it from cnbc. first in business worldwide. can help you build a plan that fits your life. take control by opening a new account or rolling over an old 401(k) today, and we'll throw in up to $600. how's that for common sense? woman: what do you mean, homeowners insurance doesn't cover floods? [ heart rate increases ] man: a few inches of water caused all this? [ heart rate increases ] woman #2: but i don't even live near the water. what you don't know about flood insurance may shock you --
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just a short time ago the president departed milwaukee heading for los angeles where he'll attend a pair of fundraisers. while he is visiting the city of angels he'll be surrounded by good company like grammy award winning artists the foo fighters and dinner with this guy so stick with bushy and don't vote and don't listen to liberals or democrats or other republicans to make fun of me or read the news or watch the news except for fox. for more we're joined now by the chairman and ceo of the peoples corporation and a member of president obama's national finance committee. good afternoon, sir. good afternoon. will ferrell is a funny guy but
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these celebrities do play an important role in the fund raising machine don't they? absolutely. i think they certainly draw public opinion. they get greater interest in fund raising activities. and they also show prominent people supporting the president and that's also helpful in leading other americans to look at the president as a good choice for re-election. given the current climate where super pacs are basically dominating particularly the republican race for the nomination, do you not worry slightly that the president may face some kind of back lash because as you know he is expected to raise around a billion dollars this year? no. you know what's interesting, this president is very unique. president obama is unique. let's draw a comparison say between president obama and lyndon johnson. lyndon johnson's philosophy was those who support him early get access. those who support him late get good government. under president obama, we all get good government. no one gets -- money doesn't buy access or special favors and a good example is last week the
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general services administration just awarded donald trump of all people a major project to develop a hotel on pennsylvania avenue and gsa as part of the executive branch of government and the president's appointee is chief administrator. but you know republicans would come straight back and say look at the unions. they benefit greatly from having a democratic president. yeah. that is their return. that's their return but the unions are focused on working families and working men and women and the middle class and that's clearly who this president has staked out in terms of the constituency he wants to help the most. and he believes that the middle class is a key to bringing back our economy. so that -- i don't think it's inconsistent and troubling either. i'm sorry to put you on the spot. but how much do you think the republican race has helped the president? as you know his approval ratings are now at 50% and that is an important threshold. meanwhile this republican race has gone from mitt romney being
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the inevitable candidate to a competitor on the side but how impactful has that been for president? i think it's been positive. look, the president would fare well against any other republican candidates and i think he would be victorious among any of them. the most difficult would be mitt romney in my opinion. and in fact the democratic party has been attacking mitt romney for the past six months and so between the attacks that romney is getting from the democrats as well as the republicans, it's creating a lot of controversy and difficulty and weakening romney in the short term. i think that ultimately the bickering will better prepare romney who i believe will be the eventual nominee to compete against president obama. i believe president obama will win but i think that romney will be a better candidate for going through what he is going through right now. finally and briefly if you can, we're hearing that al green is rumored to be attending a fundraiser later this week. any chance of a duo with the president? the president is a great
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politician. not the best singer. maybe he will surprise us all and give us a nice note. thanks so much for coming back and joining us. thank you. we'll be right back. uh oh. should we be letting him p-l-a-y with our t-a-b-l-e-t? [ mom ] i think it's fine. it's the new element from at&t so it's w-a-t-e-r proof. cool. what else does it d-o? it's fast. it's 4g lte. 4-g-l-t-e? mhhmm. i think it's time to stop spelling? ok. a-y. [ male announcer ] introducing the waterproof pantech element. buy one for $249.99 and get a 4g burst smartphone free. only from at&t. i see your cup of joe goes with you. how nice of joe to, how you say, have your back. try something different. a delicious gevalia kaffe, or as i like to say, a cup of johan.
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it can even match options strategies to your goals and lets you see the potential risk and reward. and, it also comes with a dedicated elite service team. got it? get it. good. introducing new etrade pro elite. ♪ it's time to clear the air. all eyes are on rick santorum as he threatens to overtake mitt romney in the race for the nomination. if mr. santorum really does make it to november, he will prove to be a fascinating contrast with the president because in some ways these two are the direct opposite of each other. in economic terms the president wants to intervene because he believes that people cannot take their opportunities if the playing field isn't level. the president sees that social and income mobility is now lagging in this country as average americans find themselves working harder for
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less money. and that's one reason why he wants to increase taxes on millionaires and billionaires we can settle for a country where a few people do really, really well, and everybody else struggles just to get by. or we can restore an economy where everybody gets a fair shot and everybody is doing their fair share. but while the president wants to intervene rick santorum is happy to allow an entirely unfettered market. he doesn't believe that there should be any intervention. in fact, he is not particularly bothered by the vast disparity of wealth in this country. there will be income inequality and there should be. people do better and succeed more than others. that's what america is about. people being able to rise and fall. but now notice how the president and mr. santorum appear to reverse their positions on personal, social, and private
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matters like contraception. in that case mr. santorum is the interventionist. many in christian faith have said well that's okay. contraception is okay. it's not okay. it's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to what -- how things are supposed to be. so if these are the two individuals who will face each other in the presidential election then this is what voters will have to decide. it all comes down to this. do you want intervention in the bedroom or in the board room? thanks so much for watching. dylan ratigan is here and ready to take us forward. good afternoon i would be interested to hear more from rick santorum as to how things are supposed to be. it seems he has a clear vision of how sex is supposed to be. do you think he would publish something so we could see what we're supposed to be doing? i thought it was up to the individual but apparently i was wrong. well --
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